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A Time of Silence

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Today’s Reflection

THIS YEAR needs Advent; needs a keeping space
Of silence and of darkness nearing down,
Someplace where all that can be still is stilled
And everything but hope and fear are gone,
Where there is less of me and more of grace.
There in the waiting moments you have willed
Lies healing for an often-wounded soul,
The deep recovery of who I am
Where every whispered longing to be whole I ever breathed
is finally fulfilled.
–Jennifer Lynn Woodruff

Alive Now

From “Preparing the Way” by Jennifer Lynn Woodruff in Alive Now, November/December 2000, page 34. Copyright © 2000 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about The Upper Room.

Today’s Question

How is the season of Advent a time of renewal for you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

Isaiah 12:2, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those mourning a loved one. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: Thomas Merton (December 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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In order to continue receiving Upper Room Daily Reflections after January 1, 2019, please confirm your subscription here.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller December 11, 2018, 6:52 am

    Advent is becoming a time of renewal as I need to find a way to keep my faith while not being able to go to church on Sunday. Transportation needs prevent it. I also pray for those who mourn at this time of year. I mourned from before Thanksgiving through Christmas and the New Year many years ago and it is a very tough experience. While I no longer mourn, I remember that time and it has an effect.

    Thank You, Lord, for the strength you give me †o carry on. I pray for the UR family to have Your strength. I Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Jill December 11, 2018, 6:56 am

    This Advent season is desperately needed and deeply comforting – the extra quiet time in the morning and attentiveness throughout the day. Using a few Advent devotionals I had used previously. Of course, God is bringing them to have new meaning for me now, in this current season of my life. Thank You, Lord – for making Your Word new, for touching me and securing me.
    I linger in prayer for Connie, as this season is laborsome on her heart. Father – grant her an extra measure of Your Peace. O Great Balm.
    Robert – I am encouraged to hear things are going well thus far for Erich. I pray it will continue, as well as relief for Annaliese.
    Julie – as I am currently pain and swelling free in my hands – I know, to some degree, what your struggle must be like. May God be merciful this wintry season. I think of heaven – with the promise of being in His glorious presence – that is enough – but I also imagine no pain, no stiffness, no cancer and no fear. Praying for the environment of your household as well, for you and Megan.
    I pray for Lou and her children, for her daughter who is trying to finish this portion of the school year strong. We all hang in there, by His grace. For Betsy, the anticipation of the grand baby, and for her brother’s flare and care. For Mary, her sister and parents – may their time together be richly blessed. I also think of upcoming family time for Andrea – her grandson a deep blessing. Continued healing prayers for Lowell.
    I would ask prayer for my mom. She fainted at church on Sunday and refused to be transported to the hospital. She was refusing to go to the doctor yesterday, but dad got an appointment and took her in the afternoon – bloodwork was done. We will await the results. She had been doing so very well, and this is troublesome. My sister is snow-birding in Florida – and I am finding my position in the middle to be very difficult. My folks want her to enjoy her time there, so are not fully honest with her. I am here in the midst of things, observing, tending – and, yet, I get marching orders from her – 1000 miles away. Yes, my attitude needs more confession and prayer. Father, help me tend to this root of bitterness – Satan is active.

  • Connie December 11, 2018, 8:01 am

    For me Advent is the calm in the midst of hustle and bustle. I used to welcome it all.
    Yes, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. God be with Gloria.
    And Robert.
    Thankful for:
    A visit from my son.
    Some decorating accomplished….tree up, a few outside lights.
    Plenty of seed and nuts for the wildlife.
    An angel-Phoebe.

  • Julie December 11, 2018, 8:04 am

    I do indeed need to be renewed this season. I need renewed strength to get through the upcoming year. I have no idea what horrors it holds. I need renewed strength to get through this time of year, as h is off work from today (just left) to the end of the year.This causes increased stress, if that is possible. Thank you for your prayers.
    On Sunday afte all the places Megan and I went to see holiday special events we had dinner at my favorite restaurant. It is Syrian and I believe I mentioned that my paternal great grandparents came over “on the boat” from Syria separately as children. A relative went to Ellis Island and found their parents signatures. I enjoy the food as I grew up eating it.
    Prayers for Robert and may his car get fixed soon. Prayers for continued success at work for Erich and contnued pain relief for Anneliese.
    Prayers for Jill and her sticky situation. It is difficult and a fine line to walk among family dynamics.
    Prayers for Gloria, may the bloodwork not reveal anything major.
    Prayers for Lou and her chhildren, I pray her middle child comes home from Boston for Christmas.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, Lowell’s ankle and a warm Christmas with their grandson.
    Prayers for Connie and her husband, may they find strength together to face their sorrow at this time of year.
    Prayers for Betsy, may her brother be home for the holidays.
    Prayers for Mary and her family. How lovely to give and receive homemade gifts. Hhow thoughtful.
    Prayers for Marcy and Mary and Lucy. May Marcy’s insurance relent and cover all of the needed medication and treatments.
    Prayers for all who come here to be refreshed and renewed, we are all members of this UR family

  • Andrea December 11, 2018, 1:55 pm

    Yes, this reading is just perfect for today. I have been feeling a flare of ungracious thoughts, mostly about my sister. I pray for grace to let it go.

    Jill, I understand how you feel and I pray for you to have the support you need and friends to lean on. You are a very generous, giving person and you are spread thin between demanding work and your aging parents. Take care of yourself. Do kind things for yourself.

    Julie, I am hapoy to hear you had a happy Chrismas-themed outing. We enjoy similar cuisine – my grandfather was an Armenian from Turkey. I pray you are soon out of the stressful situation at home, and your body, mind and spirit will know more calm and assurance.

    Marcy, you continue to grace us with your comments despite challenges. Bless you for your caring and may God give you strength and improving health.

    Continued prayers this beautiful Advent season for Jill, Gloria, Larry, and Becky, for Robert, Erich and Anneliese, for Lou and her children, for Connie and her husband, for Julie and Megan, for Marcy and Mary, for Betsy and her family, including Betsy’s brother, for Rusty and K, for Mary and her parents, for Pam, and for April. Prayers for those who mourn a loved one. God bless this circle of dear prayer warriors.

    I keep you in my daytime prayers and when I awaken in the middle of the night, nearly every night, my thoughts and prayers turn to you then, too.

    Thank you so very much for your prayers. Yesterday, Lowell saw an orthopedist, at my urging, and an x- ray showed he has a fracture in his ankle. So now he has a big walking boot. (This is the fourth time he has seen a doctor since he fell, and the first three doctors did not do an x-ray.) Lowell can be difficult when he has a health problem. I pray to be patient and loving.

    May there be “…less than of me and more of grace.”

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 12, 2018, 1:48 am

    Thanks everyone for your prayers.

    In the morning, I spent a time of silence, reflecting and praying, drawing near to God for wisdom and strength. This is my daily routine.

    So glad I attended a workshop on basic candle making. More diy gifts to give away. Also shopping for gifts to give my students. Retail therapy is good. Also the joy of giving and learning makes one’s life enriched.

    Blessings to all!

    May everyone here be renewed and refreshed!

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